• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Harper Lee make the trial scene dramatically effective in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird?

Extracts from this document...


How does Harper Lee make the trial scene dramatically effective in the novel ?To Kill A Mockingbird?? In the novel ?To Kill A Mockingbird? Harper Lee makes the trial scene dramatically effective in many ways. To begin with, she uses the presentation of character very well throughout the chapter. She carefully describes each character so we can understand their background and reasons for their actions. For example, she very frequently makes reference to Bob Ewell and explains how he is a very poor white man who is uneducated, she does this by using Scouts description of him, and also by using direct speech, such as ?I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin? on my Mayella?. Language like ?ruttin?? and ?black nigger? indicate that he has a lack of education. He lives in effectively a dump and is very rude; he is the poorest of the poor whites. He is the man accusing Tom Robinson, a black man of raping his daughter Mayella, but the way Harper Lee represents Tom Robinson is completely the opposite of Bob Ewell. He is much more admirable than Bob Ewell and is far more intelligent. By presenting Tom in such a way causes the reader to feel sympathy for Tom. ...read more.


That institution, gentlemen, is a court.? This is effective because it is appealing to the audience to see that Tom Robinson should be treated just as equally as any other white man would be. Following on is another Tricolon, which continues to back up his argument that Tom Robinson should be treated as an equal. It says ?Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.? The use of the antithesis and Tricolon together are so effective because they are both talking about America as a whole, and everyone living in America, and because most Americans are very patriotic they are likely to pick up on that, meaning they should realise if they hadn?t already that Tom Robinson deserves to be treated as they would treat any ordinary white person in America. At the end of his speech, Atticus says to the jury ?In the name of God, do your duty?, which is effective because again it is patriotic, and it also appeals to those who are religious. Atticus? speech is what stands out most in this scene, it does not try to change anybodies minds exactly, or give them reasons why Tom Robinson is ...read more.


After Harper Lee builds up all this tension over the trial, leaving the reader in suspense because they are not sure what will happen, when the jury announce the verdict, all the tension is blown out of the window, the reader is then just left astonished that he was found guilty, when in the end it seemed everyone must have realised that there was no real evidence to say that Tom Robinson did actually rape Mayella, because on cross examination everything seemed to be contradicted, meaning there was virtually no way Tom Robinson did ever commit the crime he was accused of. Although it was inevitable that Tom Robinson would end up going to prison, it is still a shock to find out that he does and it is overall very effective because it demonstrates just how racist the whites were, because if Tom Robinson was white, there would have been no question about it, he would have been found innocent, on the other hand of course he would never have even been accused in the first place because Although this is not the end of the novel, the trial scene gives the novel a spectacular climax before it has even finished. By doing this Harper Lee was including a very exciting part to the story, which then helped to resolve the issues of race for the most part of the novel. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    'How does Harper Lee use the trial scene to show the social divides in ...

    3 star(s)

    Yet Heck Tate takes Bob's side just because he is against the black people. He did not get a doctor; instead he went straight to Tom Robinson's house, took him and asked Mayella if it was him who attacked her, she responded with a sobbing nod.

  2. Peer reviewed

    How does Harper Lee build up tension throughout the novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird'?

    4 star(s)

    This shows that there is going to be a sudden change in events. The coldness of the winter also juxtaposes with the hot summer. Atticus says "I can't stay here all day with you, and the summer's going to be a hot one" which shows that there is going to

  1. Peer reviewed

    Examine the different kinds of prejudice and injustice which you have found in 'To ...

    4 star(s)

    a group before they have reason to think that, whereas, injustice is where someone, undeservedly, treats a person or group in a certain way because of a preconceived idea. Boo Radley has suffered injustice all his life. His parents have kept him imprisoned for a mistake of his youth.

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird (Chapter summaries).

    Scout can't understand Miss Gates as she heard her putting down black people to Miss Stephanie, as she came out of the courthouse. Jem shouted at Scout and told her not to talk about the courthouse again, and Atticus later explains to the puzzled Scout that Jem needs to forget the trial incident for a while.

  1. How effectively does Harper Lee convey her ideas about prejudice in her novel To ...

    Scout despises wearing dresses and has the idea that girl activities are wrong ''I declare to the Lord, you're getting more like a girl everyday!' With that I had no option but to join them.' By Jem saying that quote, she is showing signs of succumbing because she doesn't want to be called a girl.

  2. To Kill A Mocking Bird : Harper Lee - A chapter analysis.

    Scout recognizes the convenience and hypocrisy in Alexandra's insistence on Finch supremacy. Alexandra, however, seems perfectly satisfied with her position and urges Atticus to teach Jem and Scout how to act like a gentleman and a lady. At first, Atticus agrees but quickly changes his mind.

  1. How Does the Writer Use the Trial of Tom Robinson to Bring Out the ...

    Scout also struggles to understand these things, but even following the trial is able to maintain her belief in the goodness of human nature as she is still young and naive. Atticus fights against racism, and a few other townspeople are on his side, including Miss Maudie and Judge Taylor.

  2. How does Harper Lee increase the tension over the trial in chapter 15?

    that there are some people who do not want him back in the jailhouse. That evening after church, Atticus goes out but he does not say where he is going. He takes the car with him, which he never does if he is going anywhere in Maycomb because ?he liked

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work